Cara Oliver, Director of Geelong Built has provided this story relating to Be inclusive
Please provide a brief background and some context:
Andy Carroll, Director of Geelong Built has had history with GROW from its inception through his extensive work with Hamlan Homes as General Manager from 2013-2021.
This work included providing an excellent case study related to Baptcare Affordable Housing in Norlane, where he created partnerships with Northern Futures and Gforce sourcing (and supporting) multiple apprentices which led to a program of employment pathway opportunities for GROW targeted communities.
From these strong relationships Cara then continued this direct support by participating in mock interviews for young people with disability, with Andy continuing his support of the RISE programme as a steering committee member and providing work experience and site visits for students.
Cara and Andy also took part in the Access and Inclusion study run in partnership with Deakin University and Cara also recently took part in the WorkSafe Work Well project focussed on supporting businesses to enhance the mental health of their young workers.
Over the last three years Andy has been heavily involved a newly formed group, Geelong Building Careers, which he is now the Chair. The group is a collective of like-minded organisations in the Geelong community, who have the purpose of engaging young people in a pathway to the construction industry through Schools or training facilities.
What steps did you take to make a change?
In 2021 Andy and Cara decided to branch out on their own to create the bespoke building company ‘Geelong Built’ focussing on thoughtfully designed and functional homes for families. Cara and Andrew’s experience within and passion for universal design and purpose-built housing has led them to introduce the specialist ‘Care Built’ brand as well as to create accessible living solutions for individuals and families seeking enhanced independence.
What was different after the change?
The decision to create a new brand supporting those with disability or unique living needs has been a game changer. They have partnered with Occupational therapists, Disability advocates and Providers to ensure exceptional outcomes for accessible builds and that the homes don’t just meet regulations but meet the distinctive needs of each and every client.
“Everyone’s home should be built with their specific needs, wants and lifestyle in mind and this is no different when it comes to designing and building homes for people living with disability.”
What was the outcome?
In developing the company Andy and Cara have embedded the GROW values from the ground up and are ensuring that each business decision is made with the intent to support and enhance the Geelong community and where possible to provide additional support and opportunities to disadvantaged areas of our local community.
They will continue to advocate for access and inclusion in not only their builds but throughout their company and within the Geelong community with the aim to enhance the opportunities for employment, inclusion and advocacy for people living with disability. With continual improvement another strong guiding principal they will work to further improve is the accessibility of their website and marketing and ensure their physical office premises is a welcoming, safe and accessible space for all whilst incorporating universal design principles and the voice of people with disabilities in their unfolding business plan.
Photo is Andy Carroll and Cara Oliver